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Conservatives Win All the Time (long but well worth the time)


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Richard Hanania Substack

Understanding one of the founding myths of the New Right
Richard Hanania
Mar 26 2023

On the right, there’s a self-pitying narrative that’s taken hold, in which democracy and conventional political activism are hopeless, and the conservative movement has been doing nothing but losing for decades. The 1990s thinker Sam Francis has recently enjoyed something of a resurgence. Writing in 1994, he argued,

American conservatism, in other words, is a failure, and all the think tanks, magazines, direct-mail barons, inaugural balls, and campaign buttons cannot disguise or alter it. Virtually every cause to which conservatives have attached themselves for the past three generations has been lost, and the tide of political and cultural battle is not likely to turn anytime soon.











Why So Angry?

Conservatives have been winning on abortions, guns, schooling, and taxes. That list is not all-exhaustive, as I could have also talked about the decline of organized labor and, in some ways, expanded religious liberty. So why do they feel like they are losing? I think a few things are going on here.

First of all, some conservatives are just closet (or subconscious) white nationalists. Sam Francis was at least open about it. If you want to preserve a white majority, then yes, the last few decades have been a disaster, and that battle is lost.

But that’s only a minority of the New Right. Mostly, the anger is about cultural and identity issues. And here, indeed, there has been a sea change. Affirmative action has been with us for decades, but only recently have major institutions become openly anti-white and anti-male. Gay propaganda in schools has exploded, as has the percentage of young people identifying as LGBT. School libraries basically now carry porn, and since it’s LGBT porn instead of heterosexual, the media considers any attempts to keep it away from minors to be fascism. There are now fat women in underwear ads. And so on.

How can conservatives “win” on these issues? Does doing so require a new kind of politics, a rethinking of traditional assumptions, or even a revolution in our governing system? I see no reason why. Take the gun and abortion issues. What conservatives have done goes beyond simply appointing their own judges and passing new laws at the state level. Rather, the entire movement, from top to bottom, prioritizes preventing the government from engaging in left-wing activism in these areas.

To take one minor but telling example, Congressional Republicans have for decades stopped the CDC from looking into gun violence as a “public health issue.” They understand what liberals are doing here. Any attempt to “study” gun violence easily shades into gun control activism, and so they nip it in the bud. Meanwhile, every year Republicans make sure that Congress reauthorizes the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding from going towards abortion.

Contrast this to race and gender issues. Wokeness can clearly be traced to left-wing government policy that the right has provided virtually no pushback against. Much of it could have been undone through the executive branch alone had the last few Republican presidents not been asleep at the wheel. Every part of our government discriminates against whites and men, and the private sector is forced to do the same. Even the LGBT explosion is likely more related to policy than one would think. Leo Sapir has written about how the obsession with minority sexual preferences and identities in public schools to a large extent has its roots in “anti-bullying” and Title IX initiatives. Republicans in Congress don’t like this stuff, but they’re not putting a lot of political capital towards fighting it either.




Apr. 7 2023

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